Reblog, retweet from Romanticism.
September 11, 2017
Baraka’s 9/11 poem here may be the most important poem of the later Beat Movement. So controversial that Baraka was reviled after its publication and famous reading tour really until his death in 2014. The poem is offensive to white people on all levels, of course, but what was really over the top were a few lines where Baraka claims 9/11 was a conspiracy permitted by the US government. Of course, now that we have a President who believes that some of that part of the poem doesn’t quite seem to matter anymore. Beyond that, though, this poem almost seems as if it could have been written anytime in the last year or so. Read it. You need it. It looks long but it is no longer than all those You wouldn’t believe what ______ from the 1970s looks like now kind of posts we all click on occasionally.
Somebody Blew Up America Audio
By Amiri Baraka
They say its some terrorist,
It wasn’t our American terrorists
It wasn’t the Klan or the Skin heads
Or the them that blows up nigger
Churches, or reincarnates us on Death Row
It wasn’t Trent Lott
Or David Duke or Giuliani
Or Schundler, Helms retiring
The gonorrhea in costume
The white sheet diseases
That have murdered black people
Terrorized reason and sanity
Most of humanity, as they pleases
They say (who say?)
Who do the saying
Who is them paying
Who tell the lies
Who in disguise
Who had the slaves
Who got the bux out the Bucks
Who got fat from plantations
Who genocided Indians
Tried to waste the Black nation
Who live on Wall Street
The first plantation
Who cut your nuts off
Who rape your ma
Who lynched your pa
Who got the tar, who got the feathers
Who had the match, who set the fires
Who killed and hired
Who say they God & still be the Devil
Who the biggest only
Who the most goodest
Who do Jesus resemble
Who created everything
Who the smartest
Who the greatest
Who the richest
Who say you ugly and they the goodlookingest
Who define art
Who define science
Who made the bombs
Who made the guns
Who bought the slaves, who sold them
Who called you them names
Who say Dahmer wasn’t insane
Who? Who? Who?
Who stole Puerto Rico
Who stole the Indies, the Philipines, Manhattan
Australia & The Hebrides
Who forced opium on the Chinese
Who own them buildings
Who got the money
Who think you funny
Who locked you up
Who own the papers
Who owned the slave ship
Who run the army
Who the fake president
Who the ruler
Who the banker
Who? Who? Who?
Who own the mine
Who twist your mind
Who got bread
Who need peace
Who you think need war
Who own the oil
Who do no toil
Who own the soil
Who is not a nigger
Who is so great ain’t nobody bigger
Who own this city
Who own the air
Who own the water
Who own your crib
Who rob and steal and cheat and murder
and make lies the truth
Who call you uncouth
Who live in the biggest house
Who do the biggest crime
Who go on vacation anytime
Who killed the most niggers
Who killed the most Jews
Who killed the most Italians
Who killed the most Irish
Who killed the most Africans
Who killed the most Japanese
Who killed the most Latinos
Who? Who? Who?
Who own the ocean
Who own the airplanes
Who own the malls
Who own television
Who own radio
Who own what ain’t even known to be owned
Who own the owners that ain’t the real owners
Who own the suburbs
Who suck the cities
Who make the laws
Who made Bush president
Who believe the confederate flag need to be flying
Who talk about democracy and be lying
Who the Beast in Revelations
Who know who decide
Jesus get crucified
Who the Devil on the real side
Who got rich from Armenian genocide
Who the biggest terrorist
Who change the bible
Who killed the most people
Who do the most evil
Who don’t worry about survival
Who have the colonies
Who stole the most land
Who rule the world
Who say they good but only do evil
Who the biggest executioner
Who? Who? Who?
Who own the oil
Who want more oil
Who told you what you think that later you find out a lie
Who? Who? Who?
Who found Bin Laden, maybe they Satan
Who pay the CIA,
Who knew the bomb was gonna blow
Who know why the terrorists
Learned to fly in Florida, San Diego
Who know why Five Israelis was filming the explosion
And cracking they sides at the notion
Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain’t goin’ nowhere
Who make the credit cards
Who get the biggest tax cut
Who walked out of the Conference
Who killed Malcolm, Kennedy & his Brother
Who killed Dr King, Who would want such a thing?
Are they linked to the murder of Lincoln?
Who invaded Grenada
Who made money from apartheid
Who keep the Irish a colony
Who overthrow Chile and Nicaragua later
Who killed David Sibeko, Chris Hani,
the same ones who killed Biko, Cabral,
Neruda, Allende, Che Guevara, Sandino,
Who killed Kabila, the ones who wasted Lumumba, Mondlane,
Betty Shabazz, Die, Princess Di, Ralph Featherstone,
Who locked up Mandela, Dhoruba, Geronimo,
Assata, Mumia, Garvey, Dashiell Hammett, Alphaeus Hutton
Who killed Huey Newton, Fred Hampton,
Medgar Evers, Mikey Smith, Walter Rodney,
Was it the ones who tried to poison Fidel
Who tried to keep the Vietnamese Oppressed
Who put a price on Lenin’s head
Who put the Jews in ovens,
and who helped them do it
Who said “America First”
and ok’d the yellow stars
Who killed Rosa Luxembourg, Liebneckt
Who murdered the Rosenbergs
And all the good people iced,
tortured, assassinated, vanished
Who got rich from Algeria, Libya, Haiti,
Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine,
Who cut off peoples hands in the Congo
Who invented Aids
Who put the germs
In the Indians’ blankets
Who thought up “The Trail of Tears”
Who blew up the Maine
& started the Spanish American War
Who got Sharon back in Power
Who backed Batista, Hitler, Bilbo,
Chiang kai Chek
Who decided Affirmative Action had to go
Reconstruction, The New Deal,
The New Frontier, The Great Society,
Who do Tom Ass Clarence Work for
Who doo doo come out the Colon’s mouth
Who know what kind of Skeeza is a Condoleeza
Who pay Connelly to be a wooden negro
Who give Genius Awards to Homo Locus
Who overthrew Nkrumah, Bishop,
Who poison Robeson,
who try to put DuBois in Jail
Who frame Rap Jamil al Amin, Who frame the Rosenbergs,
The Scottsboro Boys,
The Hollywood Ten
Who set the Reichstag Fire
Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed
Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers
To stay home that day
Why did Sharon stay away?
Who? Who? Who?
Explosion of Owl the newspaper say
The devil face cd be seen
Who make money from war
Who make dough from fear and lies
Who want the world like it is
Who want the world to be ruled by imperialism and national
oppression and terror violence, and hunger and poverty.
Who is the ruler of Hell?
Who is the most powerful
Who you know ever
But everybody seen
Like an Owl exploding
In your life in your brain in your self
Like an Owl who know the devil
All night, all day if you listen, Like an Owl
Exploding in fire. We hear the questions rise
In terrible flame like the whistle of a crazy dog
Like the acid vomit of the fire of Hell
Who and Who and WHO who who
Whoooo and Whooooooooooooooooooooo!
Copyright (c) 2001 Amiri Baraka. All Rights Reserved.
September 8, 2017
On this date in 1767 August Wilhelm von Schlegel was born in Hanover. The following are some notes I used for my Historical Dictionary of Romanticism in Literature:
The German Romanticist, critic, and philologist was known primarily in England for his translation into German, with the assistance of his wife and others, of the plays of Shakespeare. He also became famous for his lectures: Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, published in 1815. William Wordsworth and William Hazlitt praised the lectures dealing with Shakespeare, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge almost certainly borrowed from them for his own Shakespeare Lectures. Schlegel was also, with his younger brother Friedrich, the editor of The Athenaeum Magazine (1798-1800) a manifesto of German Romanticism. He died in1845.
Here is a sample of A. W. Schlegel’s work, from his commentary on Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. As a critic, Schlegel’s ideas still matter greatly in Shakespearean scholarship.
August Wilhelm Schlegel
from Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature (1808)
Of all the works of Shakespeare this is the only example of imitation of, or borrowing from, the ancients. I cannot acquiesce in the censure that the discovery is too long deferred: so long as novelty and interest are possessed by the perplexing incidents there is no need to be in dread of wearisomness. And this is really the case here: matters are carried so far that one of the two brothers is first arrested for debt, then confined as a lunatic, and the other is forced to take refuge in a sanctuary to save his life.
In a subject of this description it is impossible to steer clear of all sorts of low circumstances, abusive language, and blows; Shakespeare has however endeavored to ennoble it in every possible way. A couple of scenes, dedicated to jealousy and love, interrupt the course of perplexities which are solely occasioned by the illusion of the external senses.
A greater solemnity is given to the discovery, from the Prince presiding, and from the reunion of the long-separated parents of the twins who are alive.
The exposition, by which the spectators are previously instructed while the characters are still involved in ignorance, and which Plautus artlessly conveys in a prologue, is here masterly introduced in an affecting narrative by the father.
In short, this is perhaps the best of all written or possible Menaechmi; and if the piece be inferior in worth to other pieces of Shakespeare, it is merely because nothing more could be made of the materials.
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‘On the Road’ at 60: How Jack Kerouac’s drug-infused prose became a classic of 20th-century literature http://flip.it/o_khb-
Click on this link to read the article from The Smithonian about Mary Shelley’s The Last Man.
July 19, 2017
Here’s a passage from Virginia Woolf to help you get going a bit this morning. So pop in a Keurig and see if you feel what Woolf was feeling.
from a Diary dated 20 March 1926
But what is to become of all these diaries, I asked myself yesterday. If I died, what would Leo make of them? He would be disinclined to burn them; he could not publish them. Well, he should make up a book from them, I think; & then burn the body. I daresay there is a little book in them: if the scraps & scratches were straightened out a little. God knows.
This is dictated by a slight melancholia, which comes upon me sometimes now, & makes me think I am old: I am ugly. I am repeating things. Yet, as far as I know, as a writer I am only now writing out my mind.
I’ve felt the same way many times.
June 29, 2017
On this date in 1861 Elizabeth Barrett Browning died in Florence at the age of 55.
Years after her death, her husband Robert Browning found among the posthumously published letters of Edward FitzGerald—author of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám—a letter written directly after his wife’s death. FitzGerald wrote, “Mrs. Browning’s death is rather a relief to me, I must say: no more Aurora Leighs. . . . She and her sex had better mind the kitchen and the children.” Browning sent this poem in to the Athenaeum.”
To Edward FitzGerald
By Robert Browning
I chanced upon a new book yesterday;
I opened it, and, where my finger lay
‘Twixt page and uncut page, these words I read –
Some six or seven at most – and learned thereby
That you, Fitzgerald, whom by ear and eye
She never knew, “thanked God my wife was dead.”
Aye, dead! and were yourself alive, good Fitz,
How to return you thanks would task my wits.
Kicking you seems the common lot of curs –
While more appropriate greeting lends you grace,
Surely to spit there glorifies your face –
Spitting from lips once sanctified by hers.
May 8, 2017
On this Day in History: Sheridan’s The School for Scandal
was First Performed
Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s comedy of manners, The School for Scandal, has delighted audiences uninterruptedly since its first production on May 8, 1777 at the Drury Lane Theatre in London because of its tightly constructed plot, its grand comedy, and its polished wit. Besides being called a comedy of manners, this type of play also is often called a drawing room comedy because so much of its action takes place in the formal rooms of fashionable London town homes, and these intimate settings have undoubtedly contributed to the play’s appeal on stage.
If you haven’t read or seen performed this classic play in awhile, here is a simple summary of its complex plot by Martin S. Day: The atmosphere of frivolous London high society binds together three plot elements: Lord Teazle is an old man married to a young and skittish Lady Teazle. Their squabbles leave her open to the advances of Joseph Surface, The Surface brothers are contrasted: Charles is open-hearted but ne’er do well; Joseph is a hypocrite who appears to be a humanitarian and a man of feeling. Their uncle, Sir Oliver in disguise, tests both brothers ad finds the apparently feckless Charles to be an honest man and the supposedly reliable Joseph a sneaking scoundrel. The two plots come together in the famous screen scene of Act Four, when Charles discovers lady Teazle at a, ahem, tryst, as they used to call it, with Joseph. The scandalmongers—Snake, Lady Sneerwell, Mrs. Candour—represent that part of society which relishes killing a reputation with each word.
Here a few notes on the stage settings for an essay I once published for Salem Press years ago:
Lady Sneerwell’s Dressing Room. Despite the fact that the stage direction indicates that the first scene of the play takes place at Lady Sneerwell’s dressing table, the room in which the scene takes place is a large room used by fashionable ladies for waiting on their most confidential guests. Thus Lady Sneerwell uses her dressing room to converse with Snake in much the same way the men of the house would use his library.
The Drawing Room. Other scenes in Lady Sneerwell’s house are set in the typical drawing room of a fashionable house. For example, In Act Two, Scene two Sheridan presents the famous school for scandal in attendance in the drawing room. Drawing rooms were used purely for public purposes. It was here that a hostess would receive guests or where guests would gather before and after dinner. Usually they were among the larger rooms of the house and certainly the room in Lady Sneerwell’s must be large enough to handle her rather large group of scandal mongerers.
The Library. The most famous scene in the play occurs in Joseph Surface’s library. Like women’s dressing rooms, libraries for men were where they met their friends for personal visits. Usually, however, it was where they met their male friends, so the scene in which Joseph meets intimately with Lady Teazle has a special significance in its being set in the library.
Now, with all this in mind, you need to know that The School for Scandal will run throughout the summer from May 15 to October 30 this year at the Stratford Festival of Canada for over 50 performances. This will be by far the premier production of Sheridan’s play in the world for this year. For information click https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/ThePlays
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